Across the road from Ordsall Hall, and running by the Manchester Ship Canal is a long wall which for years was used as a kind of ever changing public art gallery, displaying brilliant works of graffiti art from some of the region's finest exponents.
In April, Salford Council decided that this unique cultural phenomenon didn't fit with its idea for an `Aspirational Walkway' between Manchester centre and MediaCityUK. The Council wanted to "vastly enhance the riverside experience for users, improve the quality and attractiveness to support future private sector investment, and promote additional activity and usage of the routeway".
It budgeted £15,000 for `graffiti removal' and £128,781 for `environmental works' for this `Riverpark Central' zone, plus a Salford Council contribution of £20,000 towards a litter boat to clean up Peel Holdings' putrid Ship Canal.
In June, the "growing problem of graffiti" was removed from the Council section of the wall along the Canal, and it has now been replaced with, er, a real eyesore.
Previously, graffiti artists had covered the wall with fantastic images but since the wall has been cleaned the artists have shown respect and left it alone – only for `amateurs' to come along with spray cans and completely vandalise it. The wall now looks a complete and utter mess. The scrawled images even have an arrow pointing to them reading `My lil sister can do better'…Hardly the `Aspirational Walkway' envisaged by the Council.
Meanwhile, further along are two walls owned by a private company which not only allows the graffiti artists to use its space, it positively encourages them. The latest stunning image is of a massive `Wild Wild North West' scene, entitled Casa De Irwell.
• The Irwell River Park is costing a jaw-dropping total of £72million, including £115,447 in signs alone. Further details can be found at www.irwellriverpark.com
See previous Salford Star story here - with links